Held at the Hilton Hotel, the more than 300 guests roared with applause as the Ambassador welcomed them, saying “As Americans, we have a strong desire to share with others the opportunities that our values and our democracy have offered to us.”
Re-affirming the overriding importance of independence for every American, the Ambassador said “On Independence Day, we celebrate our history and we reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental rights we value most: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We also reaffirm our commitment to the self-evident truth that all people are created equal. As President Obama often reminds us: What binds our nation together is not the colours of our skin, the tenets of our faith, or the origins of our names. What binds us as Americans is the certainty that all people, everywhere, are created equal.”
On American assistance for development, he said “That’s why we are proud to stand with Namibia, united by a common desire for a better world, for greater economic opportunity, and for the chance to enjoy a peaceful and healthy life. We support leaders – whether in government, civil society or the private sector – who are seeking Namibian solutions to Namibian challenges.”
The Ambassador said American support for Namibian solutions is leading to poverty alleviation through job creation.
“Through groundbreaking projects made possible by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID, and the Peace Corps, Namibians — from learners and handicraft artists to chefs, gamekeepers, and nurses – have greater access to education and training, can improve their skills at the new and renovated COSDECs, and can access the world through the Regional Study and Resource Centres. This means that Namibians now have more opportunity to improve their skills and contribute directly to growing Namibia’s economy. In my travels across the length and breadth of this vast country, I have already met many Namibians who have seized the opportunities opened up by this American support to alleviate poverty through getting or creating jobs” he elaborated.
Regarding the future of strategic cooperation, the Ambassador said “My Embassy team and I will explore opportunities for us to collaborate on power generation, particularly the opportunities presented by Power Africa, President Obama’s private sector-led initiative aimed at doubling electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. We will build on our many years of cooperation in wildlife conservation by seeking to reinforce Namibia’s efforts to stem illegal poaching. We will also intensify our work with the Namibian government, civil society and private sector to accelerate our collective effort to control HIV/AIDS and ensure long, prosperous lives for Namibia’s most precious resource – its people.”
He thanked the Namibian people through a celebratory toast, which he shared with the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon Peya Mushelenga as guest of honour.
The celebrations ended with a live jazz performance by visiting American band Anthony Stanco and The Crucial Elements.